Car questions...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by LDfan, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Is it easy to learn how to do basic maintenance on a cars such as hondas, toyotas, etc..?
    I'm interested in learning how to change brake pads and such. Has anyone ever bought an official 'service manual' and if so are they better than the ones like chiltons?

    thanks,
    Jeff
     
  2. Mike Wladyka

    Mike Wladyka Supporting Actor

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    basic maintenance is pretty easy to learn...i haven't bought any manuals, i usually go to the library, they have them there and it is free. changing your own brakes is a great way to save money...places around me want hundreds of dollars, and i recently changed mine for $60 (new pads and rotors).
     
  3. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    The Chilton and Hayes manuals usually are good enough for you to swap brake pads, timing belts, etc. BEWARE that these manuals aren't always correct. On my '85 Subaru the instructions for the timing belt (specifically the cam and timing wheel placements) were wrong.

    As mentioned above, the library is a good resource...
     
  4. Shane Roach

    Shane Roach Stunt Coordinator

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    I've never worked on a Honda and only twice on a Toyota, but mechanical systems on most cars are fairly easy to work on if you have the knowledge, tools, and ability. You can get the knowledge by reading service manuals, and tools at any decent hardware store. If you're not naturally mechanically inclined, you just have to practice and learn.

    If there's one available for your car, a Haynes manual is a great place to start reading up on the workings of the car. Like Greg said, they're not always perfect, so you might also want to get a factory service manual. The FSM will tell you everything, and you might even be able to download one. Just search around in forums dedicated to your particular car.

    The great thing about doing basic maintenance yourself is that you will gradually gain greater skill and confidence. I started out doing oil and brake pad changes on my Nissan (literally two days after I bought it), and I now believe I could do almost anything that doesn't require extensive training or special equipment. No electronic stuff, body/paint work, AC service or engine rebuilds (yet), but I've installed new shocks/springs and larger brakes and I'm in the process of collecting parts to rebuild the suspension and install a limited-slip differential.

    Not only can you save tons o' money doing your own work, but when you button things back up and drive off you don't have to worry that a stranger might have made a mistake that could lead to further repairs down the road.
     

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